Be amazed by these dancers

By Kirstin Buick
30 July 2013

Our TV blogger is obsessed with reality series So You Think You Can Dance, with its gravity-defying moves. Here are her favourite routines.

Watching So You Think You Can Dance (SYTYCD), it’s always amazing to see dance moves that shouldn’t be humanly possible physically, or figure out how so much emotion can be conveyed in one short routine.

I love So You Think You Can Dance and I hope you watch this show, because the talent is incredible and I’m sure even non-dance fans will be wowed. What I also like is that I often hear musicians I’d never heard previously, who I have to rush off and YouTube ? I’ve fallen in love with Irish singer Róisín Murphy because of this show.

I missed season nine of So You Think You Can Dance when it was on DStv earlier so I was pleased about the repeat (yes, yes, I know repeats are a dreaded word when DStv is mentioned, but I find them hugely useful).

I have made a point of not looking up the winners this season, which wasn’t easy, and I like to pick my favourites at Vegas Week, which looks like a visit to dance hell as the dancers fight for a place on the show.

I adore martial-arts-dancer-guy Cole (pictured above), ballerina Amelia and contemporary dancer Eliana (pictured above). So far, my early favourite performance of the season is Cole’s paso doble with Lindsay. Here’s it is if you missed it or are new to the show:

And that had me thinking of past shows and led to a long list of my top 10 performances, which I’m going to share. I have included YouTube links so you can enjoy them, again if you’ve seen them, or be mesmerised if it’s your first time.

For newbies, the show consists of a top 20, 10 girls and 10 boys, who are paired up weekly to perform a choreographed dance whether it’s hip-hop, jazz, contemporary, Bollywood, krumping, you name it. There’s also a group performance each week.


1. Jaimie Goodwin and Hok Konishi’s The Hummingbird and the Flower jazz ballet routine in season 3. It was choreographed by Wade Robson and the music was The Chairman’s Waltz from Memoirs of a Geisha. Not surprising it won Wade an Emmy in 2008 for Outstanding Choreography. I was mesmerised, it was just so breathtakingly beautiful. Hok, a B-Boy dancer, was the hummingbird attracted to the flower, danced by Jaimie.

Watch it here:

2. Season two’s top 20 pop-jazz zombie dance. It’s another Wade Robson creation and to Róisín Murphy’s Ramalama (Bang Bang). It also won a choreography Emmy for Wade in 2007. I had gooseflesh the moment the dancers came down the stairs with those disjointed zombie movements and have watched it again and again.

Watch it here:

3. Travis Wall and Heidi Groskreutz’s The Bench contemporary routine in season 2. It won the brilliant Mia Michaels a well-deserved Emmy for Outstanding Choreography in 2007 (shared with Wade). I can’t listen to Calling You by Celine Dion without thinking of this routine. And when I watch it, I get misty-eyed every time they touch through the bench and when Heidi leaps into his arms.

Watch it here:

4. Robert Roldan and Allison Holker’s contemporary routine in season 7. Travis Wall, the same Travis who danced in the previously mentioned routine, choreographed this moving tribute to his mom who was diagnosed with cancer. It’s a story of a son trying to help his ill mom as they dance to Coldplay’s Fix You. Okay, I’m tearing up again.

Watch it here:

5. Mark Kanemura and Chelsie Hightower’s hip-hop routine in season 4. I adore the offbeat Mark, who is currently one of Lady Gaga’s backup dancers and can be spotted in a couple of her music videos. And Chelsie is a regular on Dancing with the Stars in America. In this routine, choreographed by husband-and-wife team Napoleon and Tabitha D’Umo to Leona Lewis’ Bleeding Love, Chelsie is a woman trying to keep Mark, her workaholic boyfriend, at home in a beautifully slow hip-hop dance.

Watch it here:

6. Ellenore Scott and Jakob Karr’s contemporary Tore My Heart dance in season 6.I love almost everything Sonya Tayeh choreographs. This woman must see the world differently to us mere mortals; she’s like a dancer version of director Tim Burton, and this routine is quirky and cool. Plus the song Tore My Heart by Oona and Dave Tweedie is just brilliant.

Watch it here:

7. Brandon Bryant & Janette Manrara’s pop-jazz routine in season 5. It’s Wade Robson again and more music from Róisín Murphy, her song Ruby Blue. It’s gorgeously quirky. Watch as they tiptoe down the stairs, those fun little kicks and the outfits with the big round sunglasses that finish a wickedly fun dance.

Watch it here:

8. Katee Shean & Joshua Allen’s hip-hop routine in season 4. Joshua (who won the season) is a soldier telling his girlfriend he’s going back to war to the sounds of No Air by Jordin Sparks and Chris Brown and moves worked out by Napoleon and Tabitha. Such emotion and at the end when he dances out of his shirt and she dances into it . . .

Watch it here:

9. Neil Haskell and Sabra Johnson’s jazz routine in season 3. It’s not surprising that after this routine Sabra went on to win the season. She got into the character of a power couple in the 1980s who dance around, under and over a table to the sounds of Sweet Dreams by the Eurythmics. Mandy Moore was beaten to the Emmy for Outstanding choreography to Wade Robson’s hummingbird and flower dance.

Watch it here:

10. Alex Wong and Allison Holker’s contemporary routine in season 7. Hallelujah by Jeff Buckley is already a beautiful song and when it’s paired with a routine by Sonya Tayeh it’s just emotional magic. Ballet dancer Alex is just phenomenal.

Watch it here:

So You Think You Can Dance is on weekdays on M-Net Series Reality at 10.30 pm.

-Natalie Cavernelis

Find Love!